Judicial Council will punish staff if… – CJ

georgina-woodeThe Chief Justice Mrs Georgina T. Wood says the Judicial Council will not hesitate to bring appropriate disciplinary proceedings against any member of the judiciary who fail to live by set standards.

Speaking at the swearing in of 28 magistrates on Thursday in Accra, Mrs Wood urged the magistrates to approach their work with dedication and diligence.

The magistrates, including 11 females, underwent a rigorous recruitment process conducted by the Examination Committee of the Judicial Service and Appointment Committee of the Judicial Council.

Mrs Wood noted that the adversarial court system and processes that the country has adopted are already known to be drudgery.

“It is therefore your duty to dispose off cases before your courts in a just and timely manner so that litigants can leave your courts happy, that justice has not been denied them. That way, you will have protected and advance the cause of meaningful justice,” she added.

Mrs Wood announced that in June, the Judiciary would be inaugurating new Circuit Courts at Amasaman and Ashiaman to serve the people of Ga West and Ashiaman.

New district courts are also going to be established at Teshie, Weija, Prampram and Kasoa to meet the justice needs of the people.

In addition, three district courts are to be established in Kumasi and Asokwa in the Ashanti Region, she added.

The Chief Justice appealed to the Municipal and Metropolitan Assemblies to include accommodation for judges in their master plans so that they could work in a conducive environment.

Mrs Wood told the magistrates that their integrity and moral uprightness should be unquestionable, adding: “Observe proper conduct and avoid all manner of impropriety.”

She tasked them to administer justice impartially in relation to all manner of people, especially those who cannot afford the services of lawyers and also admonished them to be abreast of the law by studying and researching into laws by participating in the continuing judicial programmes.

Ms Cynthia Lamptey, Acting Director of Public Prosecution, who represented the Minister of Justice told the magistrates that Ghana has adversarial system of justice and urged them to be impartial decision makers.

“In this era of many radio and pocket lawyers, know that your judgment and ruling will be subject of interpretation and analysis, some well-meaning, others ill-intentioned, some constructive and others personal,” she noted.

Ms Lamptey said as magistrates, they are pillars of the entire justice system hence the public has the right to demand from them irreproachable conducts.

To family members of the Magistrates, Ms Lamptey asked them to lessen their pressure and expectation on them saying, “if you persist on making financial demands they might not return with their reputation or job intact.”

“Flee from influence peddlers, bribes, politics and dictate of ethnicity, religious partisanship and anything that would discredit you,” she said.

Mr Peter Zwennes, Vice President, Ghana Bar Association, commended the magistrates particularly the young ones for treading into the profession at the early stages of their career.

He observed that at the bench there are just rewards for good judges, so they must at all times eschew corruption in any form.

Mrs Elizabeth Ankumah, Vice President of Association of Magistrates and Judges of Ghana, asked the new magistrates to protect the rights of juveniles as their interests are paramount.

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